Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Planned Parenthood Greeting Cards

Found these at Concordia cum Veritate.

As one poster commented, "You have to laugh to keep from crying sometimes..."

Gay adoption

If you want to read a concise, well written commentary on gay adoption and the Catholic Church, look no further.

Diogenes has summed it up quite well here and here.

Monday, January 29, 2007

St. Jerome

Just found a quote worth remembering.

"To have reduced heresy to its origin is to have refuted it." -St. Jerome (Adv. Lucif. 28)

It sounds strikingly similar to Cardinal Newmann who said, "To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant."

Both are great quotes.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sam Brownback and Griswold v. Connecticut

The following is from a (lengthy) post I made in Facebook. It is part of a response to Tay Stevenson of Dartmouth College; posted in the group "Brownback for President" on January 28, 2007. To provide a bit of background, Tay does not agree with Sam Brownback (R, Kansas) or his "nut job" supporters. Among other things, Tay feels that "Sam Brownback appeals only to those monomaniacal individuals who go to the poll looking for someone supporting knee-jerk, reactionary and close-minded social policies that have served no greater purpose than to divide the country." I think you get the picture. My reply:

Tay, in response to my post you said, "I would clarify that I am not calling anyone here those things [nut job, monomaniacal, etc.], but simply making a general statement that Brownback's typical supporters tend to be characterized as such."

Okay. But you are making these statements in a facebook group called "Brownback for President." This group has 2,000 members in support of Sam Brownback. I think it is safe to say we are Brownback's "typical supporters," therefore you are calling us those names. And in the same breath, you lecture us for "not embracing the idea of tolerance."

Now, I believe with G.K. Chesterton that "tolerance is the virtue of a man with no convictions." And so I am not offended by your comment about tolerance. But I do find it offensive and ironic that one who upholds tolerance as a (supreme?) virtue, is so clearly *intolerant* of "Brownback's typical supporters."

"However, if you deny legislating the Bible, then I'm not sure exactly why you are supporting Brownback who is proposing to do just that." -Tay

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by the phrase "legislating the Bible." If you mean enacting laws based entirely on Leviticus (such as stoning to death a blasphemer), then no, I do not support such a notion. If you mean keeping in place the Judeo-Christian values which have been the moral fabric and foundation of American law for 200 years, then yes, I wholeheartedly agree with this idea and anyone who supports this idea...like Sam Brownback.

Before you get too eager in denouncing such a "radical" perspective, I would remind you that the Ten Commandments adorn the U.S. Supreme Court building. I would remind you that every day our U.S. Congress opens in prayer to Almighty God. I would remind you that (with the exception of Clinton) this country has had a long tradition of presidents who were firm believers in Judeo-Christian morals. Presidents who had no qualms about reminding and addressing the American people with words such as these:

"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

"It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

"Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do, by this my proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th. day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer. And I do hereby request all the People to abstain, on that day, from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion." -President Abraham Lincoln, March 30, 1863


Confess our sins? Pray for mercy? A national day of humiliation, fasting and prayer?

You see, Tay, it is not the "religious right," who are "nut jobs" trying to subvert and take over this country. It is the extreme left, the Hollywood elites, the so called "main stream media," the NYT, the liberal professors at our institutions-of-lower-living, the gals on The View, et. al., who are trying to rid our nation of any reference to God and to smear any politician who wants to keep God in our court rooms and senate buildings. It is *they* who are dragging America in the opposite direction.

And as good sheeple, many Americans get their moral direction from whatever happens to be on television, and read the the New York Times as though it were the Gospel truth. Most Americans have bought into the big lie -- the lie that, for instance, Brownback is trying to legislate the Bible.

No. Sam Brownback is simply trying to regain some sense of moral direction for our Sex-and-the-City-culture. He is simply trying to get complacent Americans to wake up to the horror of abortion; to the legalized slaughter (4,000 a day) of unborn innocent children.

You see, Sam Brownback understands that John Paul II got it right when he said, "A nation that kills its own children is a nation without hope."

How did we get here? How is it that for 34 years abortion on demand has been the law of the land? Well, we can start tracing our steps backward and see that Roe was discovered to be a constitutional right (?!?) of any woman, based on an extension of the constitutional right to privacy (?!?!?), which, although not stated anywhere in the constitution, is most definitely there. Just ask the seven justices who found it in 1965 (Griswold v. Connecticut), about 200 years after the Founding Fathers put the words to paper.

"Tom, I'm sure one day you are going to want a wife and some kids, and without a right to privacy, what exactly prevents the government from telling you when you can have sex? Or even that you can put cream in your coffee? Sure it might be "silly," as your dissent would agree, but if there was a sufficient state interest in legislating against your sex-life, you couldn't give a reason to stop it." -Tay

Well, I am certainly not a constitutional lawyer, but it seems to me that the fourteenth amendment would encompass and protect all citizens from any such infringement of a right to liberty (be it in marital relations or coffee drinking):

"No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." -Amendment XIV

"You use the "post hoc ergo propter hoc," after it therefore caused by it, to point out that couples are voluntarily "sterlizing" themselves." -Tay

Well, yes. Before Griswold, it was illegal to use contraceptives for the purpose of sterilization. Today virtually everyone uses contraceptives, and the birth rate among Americans (and all of Europe + Japan) has plummeted. This was caused (in large part) by Griswold. Today the problem is not too many people, but too few people. Hence the crisis of social security -- which is only but a taste of what is to come.

"First, you can't point to this decision as the sole reason average family size is dropping. We aren't exactly working the fields anymore, and a large family is often not necessary or even feasible for most couples now." -Tay

No. But a large family is what naturally happens when a couple stops using contraceptives. In the 1800's people weren't *trying* to have huge families (say, 8 or more). It was a natural result of having sex with your wife. It had little to do with working the fields.

"Second, most would consider a drop in family size a good thing. It puts less of a stress on welfare and medicade, etc." -Tay

"Most" might consider low birthrates a good thing -- but that doesn't matter at all. Truth is not determined by a majority vote. By the way, back when families typically had five or more children there was no such thing as welfare or medicade (or abortion for that matter). That should give us pause.

"And Griswold v. Connecticut did not have anything to do with a woman's right to choose." -Tay

As I pointed out earlier, it had everything to do with Roe. The whole premise of Roe (right to privacy) was Griswold (right to privacy). In less than eight years (June 1965 to January 1973) the "right" to contracept expanded into the "right" to contracept-post-conception (i.e. to kill your unborn baby).

"My point: don't throw the baby out with the bathwater." -Tay

My point: Roe and Griswold have done precisely, and literally, just that.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Stem Cell Research

Here's a good link to hang on to/email/print.

The Benefits of Stem Cells

"Hey hey! Ho ho!"

And just when you thought the liberal media bias could not be more blatant...

Protest the war in Iraq on January 27, and the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post will reward you with front page headlines and pieces running 1200 words or more. Protest the war in the womb on January 22, in larger numbers, and the only press you will get will be an article of roughly half-length, buried on page A10 of the Post, or one with text only (sorry, no cameras allowed) in the much smaller Washington Times.

Do not expect any coverage of the March for Life from the New York Times *, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, or L.A. Times. Every January 22, said news crews are predictably M.I.A.

Antiwar demonstrators making front page
of the Washington Post, January 27, 2007.

* Apparently my internet search for articles on the March for Life in D.C. was not exhaustive. Andrew St. Hilaire points out in the comments section that the NYT did in fact run a piece on the pro-life demonstration. Of course, as he also notes, the argument still stands: mainstream media coverage of anti-war and anti-abortion protests is anything but balanced.

2 Effective Methods for Bathing a CAT

For the first "nonsense post", I have to give credit to my good friend Andrew St. Hilaire, who sent me the following:

First Method

1. Thoroughly clean the toilet.
2. Add the required amount of shampoo to the toilet water, and have both lids lifted.
3. Obtain the cat and soothe him while you carry him towards the bathroom.
4. In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close both lids (you may need to stand on the lid so that he cannot escape).
CAUTION: Do not get any part of your body too close to the edge, as his paws will be reaching out for any purchase they can find.
5. Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a 'power wash and rinse' which I have found to be quite effective.
6. Have someone open the door to the outside and ensure that there are no people between the toilet and the outside door.
7. Stand behind the toilet as far as you can, and quickly lift both lids.
8. The now-clean cat will rocket out of the toilet, and run outside where he will dry himself

Second Method

1. Know that although the kitty cat has the advantage of quickness and lack of concern for human life, you have the advantage of strength. Capitalize on that advantage by selecting the battlefield. Don't try to bathe him in an open area where he can force you to chase him. Pick a very small bathroom. If your bathroom is more than four feet square, we recommend that you get in the tub with the cat and close the sliding-glass doors as if you were about to take a shower. (A simple shower curtain will not do. A berserk cat can shred a three-ply rubber shower curtain quicker than a politician can shift positions.)

2. Know that a cat has claws and will not hesitate to remove all the skin from your body. Your advantage here is that you are smart and know how to dress to protect yourself. We recommend canvas overalls tucked into high-top construction boots, a pair of steel-mesh gloves, an army helmet, a hockey face-mask, and a long-sleeved flak jacket.

3. Use the element of surprise. Pick up your cat nonchalantly, as if to simply carry him to his supper dish. (Cats will not usually notice your strange attire. They have little or no interest in fashion as a rule.)

4. Once you are inside the bathroom, speed is essential to survival. In a single liquid motion, shut the bathroom door, step into the tub enclosure, slide the glass door shut, dip the cat in the water and squirt him withshampoo. You have now begun one of the wildest 45 seconds of your life.

5. Cats have no handles. Add the fact that he now has soapy fur, and the problem is radically compounded. Do not expect to hold on to him for morethan two or three seconds at a time. When you have him, however, you must remember to give him another squirt of shampoo and rub like crazy. He'll then spring free and fall back into the water, thereby rinsing himself off. (The national record for cats is three latherings, so don't expect too much.)

6. Next, the cat must be dried. Novice cat bathers always assume this part will be the most difficult, for humans generally are worn out at this pointand the cat is just getting really determined. In fact, the drying is simple compared with what you have just been through. That's because by now the cat is semi-permanently affixed to your right leg.

7. You simply pop the drain plug with your foot, reach for your towel and wait. (Occasionally, however, the cat will end up clinging to the top of your army helmet. If this happens, the best thing you can do is to shake him loose and to encourage him toward your leg.) After all the water is drainedfrom the tub, it is a simple matter to just reach down and dry the cat.In a few days the cat will relax enough to be removed from your leg. He willusually have nothing to say for about three weeks and will spend a lot of time sitting with his back to you. He might even become psychoceramic and develop the fixed stare of a plaster figurine.You will be tempted to assume he is angry. This isn't usually the case. As a rule he is simply plotting ways to get through your defenses and injure you for life the next time you decide to give him a bath. But at least now he smells a lot better.

Friday, January 26, 2007

What is man, O Lord, that you are mindful of him?

Random post, but interesting.

How easy it is to forget how small we are. And yet, it is good to be reminded of our finite existence -- as Chesterton said, to be reminded of "our coming from darkness; the very fact that we are created." For if we lose sight of our creation, we lose sight of our Creator. And if we lose sight of God, we become our own gods.

I have always found it puzzling that so many are deaf to creation, which unceasingly cries out: "God!"

A reflection on "Choice"

There can be little doubt that one hundred years from now the world will look back upon abortion in much the same way we today look back upon the American slave trade and the Nazi treatment of Jews.

For the dehumanization the unborn experience in 2007 is precisely the dehumanization that Blacks and Jews experienced yester-year. You see, if we can think of them as only 3/5ths of a person, well they become much easier to abuse and kill.

Hence the widespread use of terms like "choice" and "reproductive rights" to describe abortion, and terms like "fetus" and "product of conception" to describe the unborn child.

And while the semantic debate rages on, thousands of innocents are put to death every day. They are killed in what is supposed to be the safest place for them to live: their own mother's womb. It is worth noting that the mother is quite often a victim herself -- not from rape (which accounts for roughly 1% of abortions), but of ignorance, peer pressure and deception. The cost of abortion, we should remember, is always the same: one dead and one wounded.

Confronted with this unspeakable horror, many of us on the pro-life side are left with what feels like shackled hands and feet. We gather and protest at our nation's capitol in the hundreds of thousands year after year, but somehow the news cameras are never rolling. We vote pro-life, encourage others to do likewise, yet having the executive and legislative branches of government on our side is insufficient -- as we are still unable to ban even the infanticide of partial-birth abortion.

It has been 34 years and 46 million dismembered-deaths since Roe. The question deserves asking: Have we made any progress at all?

The answer is, little though it may be, we have. Hearts and minds are being changed, but it has not been through the debate of words and ideas, so much as through forcing a long hard look at the horrific face of "Choice".

As every campaign for social reform has used graphic pictures to reveal injustice to those who would much prefer turning a blind-eye, so the pro-life movement must use images of "Choice" to convince Americans that abortion is an act of violence which kills a baby. We have no other option.

America will not end abortion until America sees abortion.

Let us contribute to the seeing, lest our own complacency in the face of this evil demand justice (of a price too high) for the abuse of these most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters.

Visit http://www.abort73.com

Then tell your friends to do the same. You and I might not be able to stop the killing. But we can stop the pretending.